The Best Battery Trimmers to Tidy Up Your Yard, Tested 

Cordless string trimmers are quieter and more eco-friendly than their gas-guzzling cousins. We tested today’s top models—find out how they fared.

Best Overall

The Ego Power+ 15-Inch Powerload String Trimmer on a white background.

Ego Power+ 15-Inch Powerload String Trimmer

See It

Best Bang for the Buck

The Black+Decker LST300 & LBXR2020-OPE 20V String Trimmer on a white background.

Black+Decker LST300 & LBXR2020-OPE 20V String Trimmer

See It

Upgrade Pick

The Makita 36V LXT Brushless String Trimmer Kit on a white background.

Makita 36V LXT Brushless String Trimmer Kit

See It

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn More ›

Outdoor power tools quickly tackle overgrown weeds and trim unruly hedges, saving time and tidying the yard. We put highly rated battery-powered trimmers through their paces on several types of grass and weeds to see how well they performed.

After researching dozens of models, we tested some of the most popular string trimmers in our own yards and gardens. A string trimmer should be durable, powerful, and easy to operate. The string line should exit the reel easily without the user needing to constantly remove the reel cover and untangle the line. 

The following battery-powered versions scored high in our hands-on tests. Keep reading to discover how each one earned its spot on our list of the best battery trimmers. 

  1. BEST OVERALL: Ego ST1511T Power+ 15-Inch Powerload String Trimmer
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Black+Decker LST300 & LBXR2020-OPE 20V String Trimmer
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Makita 36V LXT Brushless String Trimmer Kit
  4. BEST HEAVY-DUTY: DeWalt 60V MAX 17-Inch Brushless String Trimmer Kit
  5. BEST LIGHTWEIGHT: Ego ST1521S 15-Inch String Trimmer With Powerload
  6. BEST FOR LARGE YARDS: Echo DSRM-2100 eForce 56V String Trimmer
  7. BEST DUAL-DIRECTION: Husqvarna Weed Eater 320iL With Battery and Charger
  8. BEST TRIMMER/EDGER COMBO: Milwaukee M18 Fuel String Trimmer With Quik-Lok
  9. BEST EXPANDABLE: Ryobi 40V 16-Inch Carbon Fiber String Trimmer
  10. ALSO CONSIDER: Greenworks 60V 17-Inch Brushless Battery Trimmer Battery
Best Battery Trimmer Options
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

How We Tested the Best Battery Trimmers

We were picky when choosing the battery trimmers for testing. We considered the brand; after all, Makita and DeWalt are well-respected players in the power tool industry. Still, we didn’t automatically eliminate up-and-comers like Greenworks and Ryobi, who are making exciting waves in battery-powered technology. 

Before testing, we assembled the trimmers and charged the batteries. Most trimmers arrived with batteries that were about 25 percent charged right out of the box, but a full charge allowed us to gauge runtime at full power. Although some of the trimmers offer reduced power settings that extend runtime, we found the lower settings also reduced performance on coarse weeds, so we ran them at full power for testing.

We put each trimmer through its paces in several real-yard scenarios: “clean” lawn grass; weedy grass; and natural areas featuring coarse, weedy seedlings and vines. To earn a spot in our lineup, the lightweight 20-volt (V) trimmers had to deliver a crisp cut in clean and weedy grass sections. 

In addition to trimming the grass zones, we used the 36V, 56V, and 80V models to cut through woody, viny growth in natural areas. We also noted battery runtime, maneuverability, and operator comfort. We scored each model using a rubric to help determine the best battery trimmer by category.

Testing Stats

  • Products tested: 10
  • Hours spent testing: 20+
  • Tests performed: 4
  • Average price: $257.07

Our Top Picks

These reviews describe the key features of each cordless string trimmer and how the models performed in our backyard tests.

Best Overall

Ego Power+ 15-Inch Powerload String Trimmer

See It

Our Ratings: Power 5/5; Performance 5/5; Ease of Use 5/5; Safety 4/5; Value 5/5 

Product Specs 

  • Battery type: 56V 2.5 amp hour (Ah) lithium-ion
  • Runtime: 45 minutes
  • Weight: 10.3 pounds


  • Auto-loading trimmer head reduces downtime while working
  • Adjustable telescoping straight shaft provides a custom fit for different users
  • Excellent power and runtime value at a moderate price point


  • Heavier than some, with less forward weight to keep head down
  • Battery is bulkier than others, making the tool tiring to use over an extended period

Ego Power+ has made a name for itself in the outdoor power equipment category by building an affordable battery-powered tool line that competes favorably against old-fashioned 2-cycle gas-powered equipment. The ST1511T 15-inch string trimmer proved to be powerful, clean, and quiet in testing. The 56V 2.5Ah lithium-ion battery delivers up to 45 minutes of runtime, with a recharging time of just 50 minutes. The bump-feed trimmer head comes preloaded with 0.095-inch trimmer line for more cutting force and less noise. Taller users will appreciate the straight shaft design, and the unit weighs in at just over 10 pounds.

In our tests, the Ego trimmer showed ample power to cut through everything in its path, including overgrown, weedy grass; privet seedlings; and honeysuckle vines. Its well-balanced design, with the heavy battery in the back offset by the long, straight shaft, made it comfortable to work with and more agile than others we tested. Our only caveat: For seasonal yard cleanup or maintaining larger landscapes, the 45-minute maximum runtime may not be quite enough.

Get the Ego Power+ battery trimmer at Amazon, Lowe’s, or Ace Hardware.

Best Bang for the Buck

Black+Decker LST300 & LBXR2020-OPE 20V String Trimmer

See It

Our Ratings: Power 4/5; Performance 3/5; Ease of Use 4.5/5; Safety 4/5; Value 4.5/5 

Product Specs 

  • Battery type: 20V 2.0Ah lithium-ion
  • Runtime: 20 minutes
  • Weight: 5.7 pounds


  • Pack includes 2 batteries for more runtime and less downtime
  • Automatic feed spool saves time
  • Money- and space-saving design both trims and edges


  • Best for grass only; struggles with coarse, woody weeds
  • Wide debris guard doesn’t fit well into tight spaces 

To give the yard a polished look without breaking the bank, consider the Black+Decker cordless string trimmer. It features a 12-inch cutting swath to cut down the corners and clean up the edges of small- to medium-size yards. An automatic feed spool means no more stopping to bump the tool when new string is needed. Two 20V lithium-ion batteries are included.

In our tests, this trimmer performed very well in weed-free grass and weedy lawn areas. With a light weight of just 5.7 pounds, this trimmer is easy to handle without causing arm and shoulder fatigue. The short, straight shaft design is most comfortable for users under 5 feet 9 inches tall. We also liked that with a quick adjustment to the head, the trimmer becomes an edger to neaten up the grass along sidewalks and driveways. In all, we found this affordable tool a solid pick for small, obstacle-free landscapes. 

Get the Black+Decker battery trimmer at Amazon (with extra battery), The Home Depot, or Walmart.

Upgrade Pick

Makita 36V LXT Brushless String Trimmer Kit

See It

Our Ratings: Power 5/5; Performance 5/5; Ease of Use 4.5/5; Safety 4/5; Value 4.5/5 

Product Specs 

  • Battery type: 18V 5.0Ah lithium-ion
  • Runtime: 60 minutes
  • Weight: 10.4 pounds


  • Runtime is longer than charge time for ready-to-go fresh batteries 
  • Includes a second set of batteries for extended work time
  • Gaslike power and performance for tackling tough trimming jobs


  • Small debris guard allows some material close to operator
  • Stiff bump head required a hard strike to let out line

The Makita string trimmer is a premium option to keep the lawn and garden under control. It can handle large yards with enough power to tackle dense weed growth. This cordless string trimmer comes with four 18V 5.0Ah batteries, so you’re not likely to run out of power. Shoppers can purchase this model as a kit that includes a dual battery charger and two sets of batteries, or as a “tool only” for those who already have items from the Makita 18V tool platform. 

With a long, straight shaft and high-power cutting head, this 10.4-pound trimmer feels like a pro-quality tool. It was well balanced and articulate while trimming around shrubs and between obstacles. It had plenty of power to cut through tough vegetation. In our tests, it made nice, clean cuts and crisp edges in the grassy areas and tore through weedy privet seedlings and honeysuckle vines without hesitation. It’s an excellent candidate to replace gas equipment for medium to large landscapes, though the price may be high for budget-minded shoppers.

Get the Makita battery trimmer at Amazon or The Home Depot.

Best Heavy-Duty

DeWalt 60V MAX 17-Inch Brushless String Trimmer Kit

See It

Our Ratings: Power 4.5/5; Performance 4/5; Ease of Use 4.5/5; Safety 4.5/5; Value 5/5 

Product Specs 

  • Battery type: 60V 3Ah FlexVolt lithium-ion 
  • Runtime: 40 minutes
  • Weight: 12.95 pounds


  • Outstanding power for clearing overgrown weeds and brush
  • Works with .080-inch or .095-inch trimmer line for normal or heavy trimming
  • Excellent runtime for average grass trimming


  • Heavy weight of just under 13 pounds, but no shoulder strap
  • Noisy operation compared to others, especially when initially triggering 

When an established leader in pro-grade cordless hand tools enters the lawn care category, shoppers will want to take note. The DeWalt 60V battery trimmer packs a heavy-duty brushless motor powered by a 60V 3Ah FlexVolt lithium-ion battery that lets it tear through all kinds of tough weeds for at least 40 minutes per charge. 

This attachment-capable trimmer comes equipped with a straight shaft and rapid-loading adjustable spool. It uses .080-inch trimmer line to cut either a 15-inch or 17-inch swath. A safety switch in the grip prevents accidental starts. Users can select high or low power, depending on the project, and control the trimming revolutions per minute with a variable-speed trigger. The universal attachment feature lets owners replace the trimmer attachment with a variety of other tool heads, including an edger, hedge trimmer, pole saw, and more.

The DeWalt battery trimmer was one of the heaviest we tested but also the most powerful. With the standard .080-inch trimmer line that came pre-spooled, this tool had no trouble cutting anything from grass to thin tree seedlings and even tough blackberry canes. In low-power mode, it offered more cutting force than the high-power setting of most others we tested. To be honest, high power was too much for many of our applications, so we also tested thoroughly in low range. It ran about 40 minutes on high and about 60 on low.

Other than the heavy weight, the only negative point we have to offer is the noise. The trimmer is loud to begin with, and when initially triggering or feathering the trigger, it makes an even louder whine/whistle sound. Still, it’s a very impressive tool at a fair price for the power and runtime and a good choice for large properties or cleaning up overgrown areas.

Get the DeWalt battery trimmer at Amazon, Ace Hardware, or The Home Depot.

Best Lightweight

Ego ST1521S 15-Inch String Trimmer With Powerload

See It

Our Ratings: Power 5/5; Performance 4.5/5; Ease of Use 5/5; Safety 4.5/5; Value 5/5 

Product Specs 

  • Battery type: 56V 2.5Ah ARC lithium-ion 
  • Runtime: About 30 minutes
  • Weight: 7 pounds


  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver—well suited for small yards
  • Well balanced, which reduces arm and shoulder strain
  • Bump-feed mechanism quickly feeds line with a single bump


  • Runtime is limited, so it may not be suitable for trimming large yards

If you have a small yard or don’t plan to trim grass for more than about 30 minutes at a time, the Ego 15-inch string trimmer is a great lightweight option. While the runtime is limited, in our tests, the Ego produced ample power to trim around poles and along the edges of paths and sidewalks. It took just under an hour to fully charge the battery. 

We found this string trimmer to be among the easiest to maneuver, which is due in large part to its light weight of just 7 pounds, thanks to its carbon fiber shaft. Plus, the trimmer is well balanced, so it doesn’t require a lot of arm and shoulder strength to perform trimming tasks. 

We tested the Ego on clean grass and weedy areas with small vines interspersed. It performed very well on normal grass, cutting it easily and leaving a sharp, crisp edge that gave the sidewalks and paths a clean look. It took a second pass over the weedy area, but other models also needed more than one pass there. The bump feed required just one light bump to feed more line. 

Overall, this is a great lightweight string trimmer for achieving a sharp look on clean grass. While its runtime is limited, that’s offset by its high degree of maneuverability. 

Get the Ego ST1521S battery trimmer at Lowe’s, Amazon, or Ace Hardware

Best for Large Yards

Echo DSRM-2100 eForce 56V String Trimmer

See It

Our Ratings: Power 4.5/5; Performance 4.5/5; Ease of Use 5/5; Safety 4/5; Value 5/5 

Product Specs 

  • Battery type: 56V 2.5Ah lithium-ion
  • Runtime: 56 minutes
  • Weight: 9.75 pounds


  • Excellent price for this combination of power and runtime
  • Wide-cutting swath and great power performance for large properties
  • Rapid charging system charges the battery in less than 40 minutes


  • Lightweight construction is somewhat offset by the forward-heavy design

A wide-cutting swath, extended runtime, and powerful trimming ability make the Echo DSRM-2100 eForce battery trimmer an excellent choice for large yards. The straight-shaft trimmer is powered by a brushless motor and 56V 2.5Ah lithium-ion battery for up to 56 minutes of powerful performance that rivals traditional 2-cycle trimmers. It cuts a 16-inch-wide swath to get the job done efficiently.

This battery trimmer weighs in at a comfortable 9.75 pounds, making it a relatively lightweight choice at this level of capability. It features battery-saving power settings for different cutting conditions, a variable-speed trigger, and a cushioned handle grip for comfort. The Speed-Feed cutting head comes preloaded with .095 trimmer line and reloads quickly without disassembly. 

The Echo eForce battery trimmer is an excellent value for large-property maintenance. In our tests, the cutting power seemed to be slightly less than that of the DeWalt trimmer, but it was still very capable. In high-power mode, we trimmed for about 40 minutes. But the better-than-average power and wider swath meant that in 40 minutes with the Echo, we were able to complete work that other trimmers would need an hour to accomplish. The noise level was good, and reloading was fast and easy.

This trimmer could have scored higher with improved balance. Although it is a lightweight trimmer overall, most of the weight is in the working end. The heavy cutting head forces the operator to compensate by lifting upward on the front handle and pushing downward on the rear handle while working. We tested with the 2.5Ah battery, which comes standard. Working with the available 5Ah battery (sold separately) would rebalance the trimmer to some degree while doubling runtime and increasing overall weight.

Get the Echo battery trimmer at The Home Depot or Acme Tools.

Best Dual-Direction

Husqvarna Weed Eater 320iL With Battery and Charger

See It

Our Ratings: Power 4.5/5; Performance 4/5; Ease of Use 4/5; Safety 5/5; Value 4/5 

Product Specs 

  • Battery type: 40V 4Ah lithium-ion
  • Runtime: 45 minutes
  • Weight: 10.1 pounds


  • Dual-direction trimmer head leaves clippings where desired
  • Excellent balance for comfortable extended use and less fatigue
  • Among the quietest of the trimmers we tested


  • The 4 buttons and a trigger seem like too many controls
  • Even the high power is not adequate for heavy-duty trimming

One limiting factor of most string trimmers is the cutting head’s direction of rotation; it matters more than one might think. The direction of rotation determines where the clippings will go and, in some situations, how the user should grip the trimmer. The Husqvarna 320iL 40V battery trimmer offers a solution, thanks to its dual-direction cutting head. At the touch of a button, we could change from clockwise to counterclockwise rotation and back without changing our grip on the handles. 

This straight-shaft trimmer is powered by an efficient brushless motor and 40V 4Ah battery that drives about 45 minutes of runtime per charge. It features a rapid-load cutting head that comes prespooled with .080 trimmer line, and it cuts a 16-inch swath. Low-vibration technology improves operator comfort, and the machine weighs in at just over 10 pounds with the battery. 

The Husqvarna 320iL ranked near the top of the test group in terms of user comfort and quiet operation, but its power was somewhat underwhelming after the big showing from the DeWalt trimmer. We were super impressed with the dual-direction feature. It allowed us to use the trimmer right- or left-handed, and we could safely trim curb lines from either direction without standing in the street. In high-power mode, the trimmer performed lawn-trimming duties superbly, but in heavy weeds and natural areas, it could not keep up with the more powerful trimmers.

Anyone not interested in going off the beaten path might still do well to consider this trimmer. Its balance is impeccable. And for quiet operation, this one takes the gold medal. The only real question regarding comfort and control was, why so many buttons? Its four thumb-operated buttons control on/off, high/low power, clockwise rotation, and counterclockwise rotation.

Get the Husqvarna battery trimmer at Lowe’s.

Best Trimmer/Edger Combo

Milwaukee M18 Fuel String Trimmer With Quik-Lok

See It

Our Ratings: Power 5/5; Performance 4.5/5; Ease of Use 4.5/5; Safety 4/5; Value 4/5 

Product Specs 

  • Battery type: 18V 8.0Ah lithium-ion
  • Runtime: 45 minutes
  • Weight: 12.3 pounds


  • Powerful and versatile string trimmer is compatible with Quik-Lok attachments
  • Easily cuts both clean grass and weedy areas with vines
  • Milwaukee tool fans can swap in other M18 batteries to extend runtime


  • At 12.3 pounds, it might be heavy for some users, causing arm/shoulder fatigue

If you’re looking for power and versatility, it’s tough to beat Milwaukee’s string trimmer/edger combo. The trimmer is part of Milwaukee’s Quik-Lok series, which features a variety of attachments that can be attached to the trimmer. 

In our tests, the M18 string trimmer effectively cut clean grass and weedy areas with vines. The combo kit comes with a high-capacity 8.0Ah lithium battery, and we could not tell the difference between the power created by this trimmer and our gas-powered model. The runtime was about 45 minutes, which was pretty good considering how much power the tool was generating, but it took almost 2 hours to recharge the battery. However, if you’re a Milwaukee tool user, you can swap in a battery from a different M18 tool to extend trimming time. 

We also tested the edger attachment, and the Quik-Lok system made it easy to switch back and forth between the two. The edger cut a clean line along a sidewalk or path, but the real star in our tests was the string-trimming function. 

It’s about average weight at 12.3 pounds but not as well balanced as some models we tested. We found it led to shoulder and arm fatigue in about 15 to 20 minutes. Someone with more upper-body strength might not have any issues. The M18 is a great option for anyone who wants a powerful trimmer that won’t balk at weeds and vines. 

Get the Milwaukee battery trimmer at The Home Depot.

Best Expandable

Ryobi 40V 16-Inch Carbon Fiber String Trimmer

See It

Our Ratings: Power 4.5/5; Performance 5/5; Ease of Use 4/5; Safety 5/5; Value 5/5 

Product Specs 

  • Battery type: 40V lithium-ion
  • Runtime: 45 minutes
  • Weight: 11.05 pounds


  • Makes very crisp, clean cuts on lawn grass for healthier grass and a better look
  • Well balanced and ergonomic, reducing potential arm and shoulder fatigue
  • Compatible with Ryobi’s Expand-It line of attachments, making it highly versatile


  • Not quite as efficient at cutting through tough vines and weeds as some models

Ryobi, a flagship brand from The Home Depot, is making a big splash in the lawn and garden tool industry. Its new 16-inch string trimmer was a standout in our tests for making clean cuts on grass and for its ergonomic design.

This Ryobi trimmer weighs 11.05 pounds and is so well balanced that we didn’t experience any arm and shoulder fatigue, even after we’d used it for nearly half an hour. We tested it on both lawn grass and for clearing weedy, viney spots. It excelled on grass but took a few passes to clear some of the heavier weeds. The bump-feed function on the trimmer is well designed, and it took only a gentle bump to feed out more line. 

The battery fully charged in about 1.5 hours, but then it ran for more than 45 minutes, which is long enough to trim unruly grasses and weeds in most yards. 

The Ryobi string trimmer is an integral part of Ryobi’s Expand-It line of power garden and landscape tools. Ryobi has an attachment for virtually every outdoor need, from a rubber broom and a blower to a mini cultivator, and all attach to the string trimmer handle, making this one of the most versatile trimmers around. 

Get the Ryobi battery trimmer at The Home Depot or Ryobi

Also Consider

Greenworks 60V 17-Inch Brushless Battery Trimmer

See It

Our Ratings: Power 5/5; Performance 4.5/5; Ease of Use 4/5; Safety 5/5; Value 4.5/5 

Product Specs 

  • Battery type: 60V 4.0Ah lithium-ion
  • Runtime: 60 minutes
  • Weight: 12 pounds


  • Powerful, ergonomic, and offers a long runtime of up to 60 minutes
  • Generous 17-inch cutting swath for clearing open areas quickly
  • Well-balanced trimmer and easy to maneuver in open spaces


  • Wide swath may be cumbersome in narrow spaces or between close-set landscape features

Greenworks is a relative newcomer to the power tool industry, but it’s firmly established itself by manufacturing some of the best-performing battery-operated tools in recent years. The Greenworks 60V string trimmer is no exception—it’s powerful, ergonomically designed, and boasts a hefty runtime of up to 60 minutes on a single battery charge. Charging the battery takes less than 1.5 hours. 

The trimmer features a generous 17-inch swath, making it well suited to quickly clearing large, open areas of weeds and overgrowth. In our tests, it cut lawn grass quickly, leaving a clean line, and it also excelled in clearing out weeds and vines. However, its wide swath can present a bit of a downside if you’re trying to clear away weeds between close-set trees or other items. We found ourselves needing to hold the cutting head at an odd angle to trim weeds between a tree trunk and a fence post. 

The Greenworks string trimmer weighs 12 pounds, but it is well balanced and easy to maneuver in open areas. Its strong carbon fiber shaft doesn’t add extra weight to the tool. We did find ourselves having to bump it two or three times to feed out more line, but that might have been our fault for not bumping it firmly enough at first. Toward the end of the testing, we started giving the head a firmer bump, and that seemed to solve the problem. 

This trimmer is an excellent option for anyone who needs to clear large areas of weeds—its oversize swath width and powerful motor reduce work time. It may not be the best option for those who have lots of small details in the landscape that require a smaller trimmer. 

Get the Greenworks battery trimmer at Tractor Supply Co. or Greenworks

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing a Battery Trimmer

When shopping for string trimmers, also known as weed eaters, keep in mind yard size, how often the tool will be used, and the height and strength of the primary user. The following key considerations will help in the selection. 

The best string trimmer is an investment in your home’s curb appeal. These yard-care tools spin a cutting head loaded with nylon string (instead of a fixed blade) to cleanly trim the grass at the edge of a lawn or mow down weedy areas. Though gas and electric models once dominated, new and improved battery trimmers don’t require mixing fuel or storing gasoline like gas string trimmers do, nor are they limited by the length of an extension cord, like corded electric string trimmers are.

Trim Width 

Trim width, also called swath width, indicates how wide a path the trimmer will cut through weeds in a single pass. Many models on the market today feature swath widths of 10 to 18 inches. The wider the width, the more power the trimmer needs, which often means the tool will be heavier due to the larger, higher-capacity battery.

Battery Type

Running a string trimmer requires a hefty dose of power. Though most of today’s trimmers run on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, a few accept nickel-cadmium (NiCad) batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are more powerful, but NiCad batteries are less expensive (an average of $70 to $125 less). Lithium-ion batteries also are smaller, hold a charge longer, and provide full power throughout the discharge cycle. 

NiCad batteries suffer from “memory effect,” meaning if the battery is used before it has fully charged—or if it’s recharged before its power depletes—it will “remember” the earlier charge level and won’t hold a longer charge in the future. If choosing a trimmer that has a NiCad battery, let it charge fully before use and drain completely before charging. For most users, a string trimmer with a lithium-ion battery will be the best choice.


Along with battery type, consider how much operating power the battery has, which is measured in volts. Today’s rechargeable string trimmer batteries average from 18V up to an average of 80V of power. More powerful batteries at the high end often are intended for commercial use and can cost $200 or more per battery. 

Some string trimmers in this category sell without a battery (or battery charger), which the user must purchase separately. This could be a cost-saving benefit for those who are adding to a same-brand, battery-compatible cordless tool collection since the same battery will power multiple tools. However, purchasing a kit with multiple batteries can be more convenient than having one on the charger while the other is in use.

Feed Type

The “feed” of a string trimmer indicates how the trimmer head releases additional trimmer line as it becomes frayed and broken during use. The standby is a bump feed, in which the user bumps the bottom of the trimmer (the area where the spool attaches) on the ground to release a few inches of fresh weed eater line

Some newer models feature an auto-feed sensor that gauges the length of the strings and releases more when needed. Others have a push button to release more line. Auto- and button-feeds eliminate the need to bump the spool, which can reduce the risk of damage if bumped too hard, but many commercial-type trimmers still use bump feed because it’s quick and easy.

Curved vs. Straight Shaft

Some string trimmers feature a straight shaft that runs from the handle to the cutting head, while others feature a distinct curve in the lower shaft about two-thirds of the way down. Some users find curved-shaft trimmers to be easier to operate since the spool end already rests at a handy angle for weed whacking

Straight-shaft trimmers may accommodate interchangeable tools, such as a tree trimmer head, which can be swapped out depending on the task at hand. Straight-shaft trimmers generally work better for users at least 6 feet tall, while shorter users will appreciate curved-shaft trimmers.


Battery-powered string trimmers have a distinct advantage over gas-powered trimmers when it comes to noise pollution. Gas-powered trimmers are moderately loud, emitting an average of 90 decibels (about as loud as a motorcycle passing by from 25 feet away). By contrast, a cordless string trimmer emits approximately 77 decibels, which is comparable to lively conversation. 


Those still unsure how to use a battery string trimmer may find the following answers to common questions about these tools helpful.

Q. Can a string trimmer cut weeds?

A string trimmer cuts and controls weed growth around the home and garden. However, light-duty trimmers may have issues with very dense weed growth.

Q. Can you use a string trimmer to cut grass?

A string trimmer can be used to cut grass, but you need to be careful not to cut the grass too short while trying to balance the trimmer. It isn’t the easiest way to cut the grass, but it is possible.

Q. Can you edge with a string trimmer?

Yes, a string trimmer can be used for edging the garden, driveway, walkway, or sidewalk. If you have a large yard, investing in a separate edging tool may be better.

Q. How many volts should be in a trimmer?

String trimmer batteries average from 18V up to 60V. Typically, the higher the voltage, the longer the battery life. 

Q. How do you edge a lawn with a string trimmer?

Hold the string trimmer perpendicular to the lawn to keep the cut even. Position the head about 4 inches off the soil so the string has space to rotate. The string should rotate and cut through the grass and dirt. As you move along the desired borders, keep the head balanced and even. Clean up the cut grass and dirt to finish the job.

Meet the Testers

Mark Wolfe is a writer and product tester with a background in the nursery and landscaping industry. For more than 20 years he mowed, edged, planted, pruned, cultivated, irrigated, and renovated beautiful landscapes. Now he tests and writes reviews about the latest outdoor power equipment, hand tools, lawn care products, and other outdoor-living goods.

Glenda Taylor is a product tester and writer specializing in the construction, remodeling, and real estate industries. She and her husband own a general contracting company, and Taylor is experienced in residential and commercial building applications. She tests a wide range of power tools and other home improvement, household, and lawn-and-garden products.

Glenda Taylor Avatar

Glenda Taylor

Staff Writer

Glenda Taylor is a staff writer with a background in the residential remodeling, home building, and home improvement industries. She started writing for in 2016 and covers a range of topics, including construction methods, code compliance, tool use, and the latest news in the housing and real estate industries.